Overcoming Boundaries with the Writer’s Cramp


I have writer’s cramp since my childhood. I have used both hands to write: I’m ambidextrous. I have had difficulties to write since when I began to study at school. I didn’t know this disease.  I had always felt as a timid person because of this disability. So, I have developed social phobia due to dystonia.
Despite everything, I have studied and today I have a profession.  Anciently,  I thought I would never be able to do a course at the university due to writer’s cramp.  But nowadays, I am a psychologist.
I found that I had writer’s cramp in 2000 when I went to my neurologist. He prescribed Artane that had no effect and then he prescribed akneton, but I used for a short time, because I had not realized an improvement in dystonia.
Then, I began to take wine in meals for some time. Helped a little, but I did not wish to continue taking wine because dependence!
I went to the another neurologist, indicated by him. She suggested the introduction of botulinum toxin. I did not want because I was afraid and because it was expensive. I needed to get botulinum toxin injection every 4 months.
In 2008, I spoke to Doctor J.M. again and I got my first  botulinum toxin injection, in June. The SUS –  Brazilian Public Health  System – offers botox for free to neurological diseases. The second time I got my botox injection was in late November.
In 2008, December I did a consult with the neurologist at the Sarah Kubstchek hospital in Brasilia. A reference centre for neurologist diseases.
In  2009, January and February I did certain examinations in this hospital: blood, magnetic resonance…  And return to neurologist. I was submitted to a pedagogical and physiotherapy evaluation.
In April, I started to participate in an online community in a social network called Orkut, which gave me a lot of joy, because I met people who suffer the same desability as mine: writer’s cramp.
In May, I did another  pedagogy workshop. I relearned to write with the left hand. In the past, I had already learned to write with another hand, but I forgot due to lack of use it.
In July, I will get my 3rd botox injection with Doctor J.M., in his private clinic in Campina Grande – my city.
Well, I had dystonia since literacy. I’m left-handed and my mother taught me how to write with the right hand due to dystonia. In this way, my life became a hell. I always wrote slowly and without way to pick up the pencil and all my colleagues were laughing at me.
I have suffered much until today.

My school life has always been difficult and traumatizing…  Imagine you strive to study with writer’s cramp. I did not know I was a  dystonia  sufferer and I was forced to study by my parents. Today, I thank them despite all the suffering that I have experienced. They also did not know  I’ve always been a  dystonia sufferer since my childhood. The doctors did not know this weird disease…  Most people thought I was faking an illness to get attention. All were ignorant and stupid with me. This kind of distrust is what most mistreat anyone.

All this left me disgusted and angry. Nobody ever understood me and I did not know what was happening to me!  I thought would never be able to finish my studies.  One of the greatest achievements of my life was to graduate in psychology!

I have always practicing swimming, yoga and Tai Chi chuan  since my teenage years.  All this helped me a lot. Even today, I have practiced Tai-Chi…  I like to run and do weight training…
Today, after 40 years the disease began to worsen and I started to feel my hand becomes  with rigid and stiff movements. I can’t type as before. Writing and typing became bad and boring things.
Currently, I am using botulinum toxin, using a rubber thick pen and a ringpen which has helped a little. They are some palliatives and  intelligent adapters.
I have noticed that the botulinum toxin improves posture when writing, the firmness in writing and a better footprint in pencil. About the slowness and lack of agility to write it has no improvement. I’m still writing with strength.
Well, today I am 43 years and I realized that dystonia is worse. I can’t type with the right hand and have a difficulty to use the mouse. I need to use the computer and write often because of my profession. So, I have suffering too much with this limitation.
But we must move forward.
You know, I spent a long time not accepting my dystonia. But, I learned that we have to live well with dystonia, overcoming boundaries!

7 pensamentos sobre “Overcoming Boundaries with the Writer’s Cramp

  1. Sou um dos seguidores do seu blog já há algum tempo e sucessivamente achei seus posts muito bons. Afinal encontrei o que carecia saber sobre isso de uma forma concisa e exata. Persista com o maravilhoso trabalho na publicação desse blog!

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  2. Divanicio, I love your English language posts. Dystonia BloggerMania is picking up steam so you’re getting a bigger readership with our group! Though my dystonia is generalized, don’t I know your story, having dystonia in both my arms as well. xxx -Pamela-

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  3. My story is much like yours. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I had writer’s cramp, Blepharospasm and Spasmodic Dysphonia. In my 20’s, I was treated for severe depression with neuroleptic medications. As a result, I developed Meige Syndrome.

    The Cervicle Dystonia manifested in 1999, after I suffered another clinical depression. I was given Buspar which exacerbated the spasms. The Dystonia reached its peak after I took Benedryl. The spasms were so violent; I was literally rolling off my bed.

    I went to Johns Hopkins in January 2000 and was diagnosed. I do not respond to Botox and I had DBS, which made me worse.

    I had to have my left battery removed last year after it became badly infected. I can no longer drive a car. I either walk or take a bus now.

    I, like you, do yoga and Tai Chi daily to keep my muscles lose.

    Dystonia is a horrible monster. I have become stronger and I too have to learn to accept what I cannot change

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  4. Post sensacional, Divanício! No meu caso, a doença começou a se manifestar já nos últimos anos da faculdade de Medicina… Passaram-se 13 anos desde então e lidar com isto até hj não tem sido fácil, uma batalha a cada dia, sobretudo ao enfrentar o preconceito de quem não conhece nada sobre a doença. Comigo nada tem tido resposta satisfatória e desisti da toxina depois de algumas aplicações, pois me causava mais desconforto do que a distonia em si… Virei ambidestra tb, isto me permite alternar as mãos e assim tentar evitar possíveis lesões, quando escrever é realmente indispensável. Enfim, (sobre)vivendo um dia de cada vez, mas nunca perdendo a esperança de um dia a cura completa ser possível. Abraço!

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    • Obrigado, Laurinda. Você é bem vinda. Todos nós sofremos muito com esta doença. Atualmente, eu estava fazendo acupuntura e até agora foi a melhor técnica que eu já me submeti. Eu melhorei em alguns aspectos e a doença não evoluiu mais.
      Por outro lado, eu permaneço com grandes dificuldades para lidar com tarefas específicas que envolve a psicomotricidade fina como: usar talheres, folhear um livro, escrever, digitar, pegar um papel na mesa, dá um ” tchau” com a mão, etc.

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